Old Flinderian Dr Jamie Coull (Class of 2002) Explores a Career Across Science and Art

Old Flinderian Dr Jamie Coull (Class of 2002) is home on the Sunshine Coast after many years studying, working and living away. Jamie's tertiary study includes completing a Doctor of Philosophy (Media, Culture & Creative Arts) (Performance Studies) at the Curtin University of Technology and her career experience includes a role at the esteemed Kennedy Centre for Performing Arts in Washington DC. Jamie encourages students to keep an open mind about their career path and opportunities as you never know where your passions and experiences will lead you! Enjoy this Q&A Profile with Jamie...

What’s life like for you right now?
Life right now is very happy, and very busy. After living away from the Sunshine Coast since I graduated in 2002, I’m finally home again and so pleased to be close to my family in Buderim and my sister Samantha (Bradman ‘05) in Brisbane. Professionally, I am a teacher, arts researcher and freelance artist. However, at the moment my husband Lachlan and I run a science and technology business from our home at Mount Coolum, and we have a lively toddler named Ben.

What was one of your favourite Flinders moments?
I always enjoyed the Flinders Fair, but my most cherished moments are String Ensemble and Orchestra rehearsals. I made a life-long friend sharing a music stand with Kristie Clarke (née Fietz).

Do you have a particular role model or inspirational figure from Flinders or now?
I became a teacher because I loved school. This was nice for me, but once I matriculated into the workforce, I quickly realised that all schools are not created equal. I would say that while I was at Flinders, Anthony Vincent was such a spectacular Principal from a students’ and a family perspective. I also loved Senior Biology with Gary Davis (Head of Senior School), as he let me wear the tie-dye lab coat and was so supportive and encouraging. PS. I sat with Kristie in Biology too…

How easy was it to decide what to do in life?
Ha ha! At first easy... Then, not so easy. In school I thought I wanted to be a music teacher, so that’s what I did. However, it turns out that I’m much more skilled at things involving theatre, drama and media, I’m terrible and getting to school on time, and I like to be the boss. It’s taken me a long time and a lot of trial and error to find a work/life balance that fits.

Did your further study or career go exactly as you planned?
Nope! But, for me that is a good thing. My study all went as planned but my career has held surprises good and bad. I have a PhD in Performance Studies about gender performativity (random). I’ve had some exciting jobs that I never planned on, such as stage managing at The Kennedy Centre for Performing Arts in Washington DC (a career high for sure). Right now, I’m hosting and producing a science engagement podcast about ocean ecology and NASA’s PACE Mission. I would not have ever predicted any of those things when I was in Year 12. (Find the podcast via our website www.go2qurious.com )

What advice do you have for current students?
Take time to consider how fortunate you are to be at a school like Flinders. Your teachers, and the resources you have access to are not found everywhere. Get involved in extra-curricular, whatever your interest may be. It’s fun, you don’t have to study, and it’s a good way to make friends.

If you are an Old Flinderian, we’d love to stay connected with you. Our College community is here to support all of our Flinders students, past and present. We invite Old Flinderians to share their knowledge and experience with current students in different ways, for example, through mentoring, workshops and guest speaking at retreats and career evenings, and also by connecting professionally with fellow alumni.

If this is of interest to you please register on Flinders Connect to learn how to connect with Flinders and your classmates. 

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